California accounts for 40% of rechargeable cars sold in the US

Article by Andrew Christian, on September 12, 2014

Around two-fifths of the rechargeable cars in the United States were sold in California during the period December 2010 to August 2014, according to the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative, citing figures from the California Air Resources Board, Hybridcars.com and Baum & Associates.

During the period, California drivers acquired 102,440 hybrid and battery-only – roughly 40 percent of the total 250,000 rechargeable cars sold in the US, according to industry researcher Baum. Since 1970s, California has been urging carmakers to offer vehicles with lower tailpipe emissions in order to reduce smog and uplift the state’s air quality.

The state in 2009 established more stringent standards requiring cars emitting less carbon pollution under its Zero-Emission Vehicle program. The standards have prompted carmakers like General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Tesla Motors Inc. to develop and produce a new generation of plug-in models.

Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, remarked that carmakers are proving that they could meet California’s clean vehicle standards, advance the technology, as well as provide a wide range of affordable cars.

Tesla accounted for at least 10 percent of rechargeable car sales in the state, selling 10,834 examples of the $71,000 Model S sedan over the 18 months through June 30 2014.

California is aiming to have 1.5 million rechargeable cars on its roads by 2025. Seven other states -- California, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont -- have also set their own volume targets for rechargeable cars.

The seven states combined want to have over 3 million zero-emission vehicles bought by drivers in the next decade. The Obama administration also aims to put 1 million plug-in car sales by the end of next year.

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